University Senate Meeting - 03/30/17

University Senate
Green Hall-Room 203
Spring 2017


(This meeting may be electronically recorded.)

  1. Approval of Minutes from March 9, 2017
  2. Standing Reports
    1. University Senate President Joe Harrington
    2. Faculty Senate President Pam Keller
    3. Student Senate President Gabby Naylor
    4. Staff Senate President Liz Phillips
  3. Proposed Amendment to USRR 1.3.2 (On-line and Non Regular Final Exams)
  4. Policy Library Working Group Recommendations 4
  5. Unfinished Business
  6. New Business


Approved April 13, 2017

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Faculty Joe Harrington, Pam Keller, Cecile Accilien, Mary Banwart, Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, Tom Beisecker, Naima Boussofara, Ben Chappell, Jonathan Clark, Chris Elles, Christopher Fischer, Lisa Friis, Megan Greene, Elizabeth MacGonagle, Margaret Marco, Jason Matejkowski, Amalia Monroe-Gulick, Paul Outka, Bozenna Pasik-Duncan, Meagan Patterson, Edward Peltier, Lance Rake, Angela Rathmel, Roberta Freund Schwartz, Suzanne Shontz, Dean Stetler, Belinda Sturm; Students Gabby Naylor, Dylan Jones, Zoya Khan, Joseph Kolhoff, Jacob Murray, Staff, Liz Phillips, Michael Chavez, Keah Cunningham, David Day, Deb Deering, Abby Ehling, Charlotte Goodman, Emily Gullickson, Connie Jordan, Lorne Jordan, Brian Moss, Anna Paradis

ABSENT:  Faculty, Kelly Chong (excused), Pam Fine (excused),  Ruben Flores (excused), Jane Gibson (excused), , Sandra Gray, Lynn Hancock (excused), Elspeth Healey (excused), Kissan Joseph, Ebenezer Obadare, Tom Prisinzano, Geraldo Sousa (excused), Bill Staples (excused), Students, Chancellor Adams, Alexandra Erwin (excused), Jasmine Fillmore (excused), Jessica Guardiola, Brittney Oleniacz, Victoria Snitsar, Adam Steinhilber, Sophie Wang (excused), Staff, Peggy Robinson (excused)

ALSO PRESENT: Maureen Altman and Kathy Reed, University Governance; Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little

Harrington called the meeting to order and announced that the meeting was being recorded.   

MINUTES for March 9, 2017 were approved.


University Senate President

Harrington announced the Climate Survey, as well as the Executive Summary, Full Report and Full Presentation were available at  Reminding Senate of the Campus Carry Notification Resolution that was previously passed, Harrington said that he and Pam Keller made their arguments for the resolution but the Chancellor would not be putting links to the campus carry page on websites [KU main page, Admissions, and HR), at least not during the current legislative session since it may hurt enrollment.  He informed Senate that the Ombud search committee was being formed and Governance is still waiting for the position description.  As a heads up he said that proposed amendments to USRR Article IX which deals with research misconduct would be discussed at the next SenEx meeting [April 4] and would probably be presented at the next Senate meeting. 

Faculty Senate President

Pam Keller reported that Faculty Senate would be working on amendments at today’s meeting.  FacEx has also started looking at USRR Article IX which was proposed by the Faculty Senate committee FRPR (Faculty Rights, Privileges, and Responsibilities).  She reported that she made a statement at KBOR in support of staff reporting to KBOR, a procedure that KBOR had eliminated.  She noted the good work being done by the Ad Hoc Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within Governance committee.   

Student Senate President

Gabby Naylor reported that Student Senate approved a referendum in which students will be asked if they want to continue coalitions; the referendum will take place before fall 2018.  At its next meeting Student Senate will vote to fund the Multicultural Student Government (MSG) for $44,000 which will be funded by block funding not a separate $1 fee.  Student Senate continues to work with MSG and there will be a vote to incorporate them into Student Senate with an MSG representative to each committee, including University Senate. The next KBOR meeting will be the last time students meet.  Some Student Senate members will be going to Big 12 on the Hill to lobby about research, affordability, mental health and sexual assault issues.

Staff Senate President

Liz Phillips reported that Staff Senate is in the middle of elections.  The Personnel Committee is reviewing the Employment Conditions Policy which is currently in the comment period; Harrington said it will be sent to Senate tomorrow.  She said that staff had worked with HR on the policy which hadn’t addressed issues such as performance, grievances, appeals, for Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS).


Since time remained after reports and before the 3:30 time when policy issues could be discussed Harrington took the opportunity to announce that there would be a “no guns” rally at Wescoe on April 4.  Barrett-Gonzalez said that there are several gun bills in the house and encouraged senators to write their representatives in support of bills they favored.  Keller cautioned that senators must express themselves as individuals not as employees of KU and use personal, not University, email. 

Proposed Amendment to usrr 1.3.2 (on-line and non-regular final exams)

Harrington explained that the amendment was proposed by the Calendar Committee as an attempt to harmonize the text with USRR 1.4.2 regulating scheduling of regular and non-regular exams.  Referring to the comments Governance had received on the amendment, Barrett-Gonzalez questioned why in-person courses trump online.  Edward Peltier said he assumed the issue might be because of space.  Chris Elles agreed with the amendment, pointing out that online exams are posted on the syllabus whereas in-person exams are set and published by the University.  Harrington added that in-person exams are scheduled according to the time the classes meet to prevent overlapping.  Harrington read the comments Barrett-Gonzalez had referenced (at the end of the minutes).  While she said she understood the amendment probably would make the issue simpler Roberta Freund Schwartz, who teaches online courses, agreed that the amendment implies that online courses are less important.  Addressing the issue of security, Kollhoff expressed that in his opinion the concerns were unfounded because those in the online courses he has taken don’t know each other and are in too much competition to share answers.  Deb Deering added that instructors had misconduct warnings in their syllabi and some demanded student sign misconduct agreements.  Jacob Murray said that in his experience there was a window for taking the exam which allowed flexibility.  Gabby Naylor pointed out that the amendment would be helpful in regulating conflicts and Elles agreed that it would eliminate the questions of overlapping exams that have existed by showing who has priority.  The amendment will be voted on at next Senate meeting.


Ad Hoc Committee on Policy Library Review’s report #4.

Jonathan Clark said that like the prior reports the committee found most of the policies were all right and added that the committee will probably complete their work at their next meeting.

Motion to accept the Ad Hoc Committee on Policy Library Review’s report #4.  Clark/Barrett-Gonzalez.  Passed.

Unfinished Business


New Business



The meeting adjourned at 3:44

Respectfully submitted,

Maureen Altman



Potential Amendment to University Senate Rules and Regulations Article I, Section 3.

(Regarding Final Exams for Online/Non-regular Courses)

Approved by SenEx March 14, 2017


USRR 1.3.2

The particular sentence (highlighted and bold) proposed to be inserted in the third paragraph of USRR 1.3.2 is essentially copied from USRR 1.4.2 (which governs special exams), but currently is not explicitly included in USRR 1.3.2 (which governs final exams). It is obvious that the spirit of this rule applies to the finals, and it is better to reiterate this sentence explicitly in USRR 1.3.2, since online and non-regular courses seem to be involving more students now and questions about such time conflicts did arise.

Proposed amendment

USRR 1.3.2

If a “take home” exam or an online exam is given in a class with a regular meeting time, it may not be due prior to the end of the regularly scheduled final exam period for the class. If a proctored or online exam is given for an online course, the due date shall be noted in the course syllabus. When the final of an online/non-regular course conflicts with a student's obligation to other regularly scheduled university classes, the student will be accorded the opportunity to take the final at a time not in conflict with other regularly scheduled university classes. The above does not apply to assignments such as projects, performances, or papers. These may be due or take place during the last week of regular classes. Projects, performances, paper, and other coursework may be due during finals week only in lieu of a final exam. This rule does not apply to coursework for which the student has received an extension.

Comment on USRR 1.3.2

As someone who teaches 4 courses ONLINE, I think that the proposed amendment makes absolutely no sense.  Online classes may have online exams but it is just as much an imposition for a faculty member teaching ONLINE to move the exam as it is for anyone else teaching face to face to provide an alternative exam for a student to take the exam.  The issue is that once the exam has been given and a student misses that exam that has been given to the class at-large there is a test security issue.  Is it expected that the ONLINE class will have an easier time creating a second online exam for the student.  If that is the thinking, I can testify that it is not the case.  It is no more the case than it is for a professor teaching an in-person class who SHOULD create a new second exam for the student who is allowed to miss the original exam that is equivalent to the original exam.  But just try demonstrating equivalence.  It is impossible on an individual basis like this.  I think that the situation should be arbitrated with all faculty involved, not by fiat of this body.  Making ONLINE courses serve as second class citizens only degrades the benefit that ONLINE classes have to students and the university.  Make up exams are a problem for everyone, not just faculty teaching face to face.  Think test security.  Think test fairness of the alternative assessment.  Think potential for academic misconduct.  Easy, simple answers to complex questions will seldom help anyone but there is always someone willing to proffer an easy solution to a complex issue.  Think deeper, that is my advice.